Multiple sources are reporting that the Washington Redskins have re-signed TE Niles Paul to a 3 year deal that can earn him almost $10 million. Paul was going to be a free agent next week, and was expected to get some interest from multiple teams. Paul, 25, had his best season as a receiving TE last season after starter Jordan Reed was injured Week 1. He finished the season with 39 receptions for 507 yards and 1 TD. Paul is also one of the best special teams players on the team.
ESPN's John Keim identified Paul as the free agent the Redskins should definitely re-sign this year.
He's not a big name, nor is he what they need as an in-line blocker, but he helps in multiple areas. He caught a career-best 39 passes last season and offers matchup problems because of his speed. While serving as oft-injured starter Jordan Reed's replacement in the first four weeks last season, Paul caught five passes for 20 yards or more. He's also a good special-teams player and well respected in the locker room.
MMQB's Greg Bedard also included Paul on his list of the Top 100 free agents this season.
Got a chance to show he was more than a special teams standout and produced (39 rec., 507 yards, 1 TD). He's versatile and on the rise, and a team will be enticed by what he could do as a full-timer. Best fit: Bills. They need a more athletic player to pair with Scott Chandler.
TE Niles Paul resigns with Redskins, a three-year deal that can earn him up to just under $10 million, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2015
[UPDATE #1: 1:52 pm 3/6/15] The Redskins have confirmed the signing
"I'm excited," Paul told host Larry Michael Friday on "Redskins Nation." "I'm excited to be back. This is home."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said last season that he believed Paul was "one of the most improved players on this team."
"Not just in the passing game but in the running game," Gruden said. "He has done an outstanding job blocking, and not to mention he is one of Coach [Ben] Kotwica's core guys on special teams. So he has really been a very active player for us, a very valuable player for us, very much improved in the passing game as far as route running, route definition."
[UPDATE #2: 2:10 pm 3/6/15] Contract details for Paul's deal
[UPDATE #3: 12:05 pm 3/9/15] New details on Paul's contract
Niles Paul's deal with #Redskins is 3 years, $6M with $2.25M guaranteed. Another $3.6M available in incentives (playing time, receptions).— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2015